Orlando - Lake Eola Park
Located adjacent to Downtown Orlando, there is no place to get a better view of Orlando’s growing cityscape. Locals and tourists alike come to Lake Eola Park to stroll along the water’s edge, visit one of the neighborhood’s many bars or restaurants, and paddle around the lake in rented boats.
Little known about Lake Eola is that it is actually a sinkhole, with its center being located about 100 feet east of the famous fountain. Central Florida is known for its sinkholes as the landscape is dominated by limestone sediment, which can erode over time when exposed to water.
Lake Eola Park was established only five years after Orlando was founded in 1883. The land was provided by wealthy resident, Jacob Summerlin, and its grant stipulated that it be used and maintained for the beauty of the city.
Perhaps the most famous feature of Lake Eola Park is its famous fountain. The fountain was originally installed in the lake in 1912 at a cost of $10,000. A later fountain replaced the original one in 1957 and can be seen, today, on the city flag of Orlando. The fountain changes colors every night since 2011 when due to a lightning strike on the fountain it underwent major repairs and restorative work.
On the West side of the park, there is a small outdoor amphitheater where local artists and entertainers periodically provide free performances. The entire park is a great place to enjoy city festivals that occur throughout the year, including Orlando’s Fourth of July celebrations. Unfortunately, the City of Orlando no longer holds the Citrus Parade as it did on New Year’s Day for many years in conjunction with the Citrus Bowl. Other festivals that visitors to Lake Eola Park may enjoy are the Nutcracker Ballet each December, which is hosted by the local Russian Ballet of Orlando and the Spin City Classic, which is a professional and amateur bicycle race which takes participants through the downtown streets.
It is an easy walk from Lake Eola Park to other fun neighborhoods and places of interest in the Orlando Area: Thornton Park, one of Orlando’s oldest and trendiest neighborhoods, pushes up against Lake Eola’s East side. It is also less than a ten minute walk to the Bob Carr Theatre and the Dr. Philips Center for Performing Arts. Church Street Station and the surrounding nightlife can also be reached by foot; here, visitors can take the Sunrail to numerous points North and South of downtown.